Signalling normalcy: Some Indian states lift all Covid restrictions, drop mask mandate rule

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Mar 31, 2022, 11:21 PM(IST)

The active cases comprise 0.04 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.74 per cent, the ministry said. (representative image) Photograph:( Reuters )

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Maharashtra was one of the worst-affected states in India during the first and second waves of COVID-19.

As India continues to witness a dip in Covid cases, in contrast to its neighbour, China, some states have decided to do away with several restrictions that were placed during the first phase, including the mask mandates.

On Thursday, western Maharashtra state announced that it will lift all Covid-related restrictions from Saturday, April 2, as the state welcomes the Marathi New Year.

Additionally, the government has advised the people to use masks even though it hasn’t been made compulsory.

"All Covid restrictions in Maharashtra will be lifted, as we bring in the new year this Gudi Padwa!” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tweeted.

Gudi Padwa is a spring festival that marks the traditional New Year for Marathi and Konkani Hindus.

Maharashtra was one of the worst-affected states in India during the first and second waves of COVID-19.

The decision to drop all restrictions after nearly two years was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope told reporters.

The number of fresh daily Covid infections in the state has dwindled to around 100 a day and no new fatalities are being reported. On Monday, there were 964 active cases across 35 districts.

Similarly in the national capital Delhi, the authorities have decided not to impose a fine for not wearing face masks at public places, PTI news agency reported citing official sources.

The sources added that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority is likely to issue an advisory for people, asking them to wear masks at crowded places.

Currently, there is a fine of Rs 500 (US $6.59) for not wearing masks at public places in Delhi.

On Thursday, Delhi reported 113 fresh COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 0.49 per cent and zero death. The city has recorded zero fatality count on multiple days this month.

For the past few weeks, India had been seeing a drastic reduction in the number of Covid cases being reported across the country.

On Thursday, 1,225 new cases were recorded, along with 28 deaths in the past 24 hours. A day before, 1,233 new Coronavirus infections were reported.

(With inputs from agencies)

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